Rotator Cuff Tendinitis

Rotator cuff tendinitis is typically described as inflammation of the rotator cuff tendon. This is a common misconception, as tendons don’t tend to be inflamed, and rather it should be classed as a ‘tendinopathy’ which means there may actually be degeneration occurring at the tendon.

This happens as a result of the rotator cuff muscles not being strong enough to cope with the demands of the activity that you are putting it through. Commonly this looks like a recent spike in the amount of activity or overall load of training. This spike is not always a large increase in activity however, sometimes it can be a return to activity following a long period off (a relative spike in load).

These injuries usually feel sore, but can “warm up” during exercise, before becoming sore again once you have finished and cooled down.

Rotator Cuff Dysfunction

The rotator cuff muscles work together in order to stabilise your shoulder joint. When they don’t work as well as we want them to, it is common to feel an ache to the front of your shoulder or pinching doing overhead movements whether that be shoulder pressing at the gym or reaching in the top shelf to grab your favourite beer glass.

This condition is typically diagnosed by a lack of evidence on scans (no real tissue damage) and is just a lack of coordination and activation of the shoulder muscles when performing a movement.

Rotator Cuff Tears

A rotator cuff tear occurs when the rotator cuff muscles, which work to support your shoulder joint, are overstretched or placed under a load to big for them to handle..

In younger populations these injuries can occur as a result of direct contact to the shoulder or arm, falling on your shoulder or your shoulder failing under load during an activity such as doing resistance training in the gym.

These Rotator Cuff Tears can also occur in older populations however they are usually caused by non contact situations. Poor muscle strength and movement patterns contribute to overloading the tendons until they fail.

Some Rotator Cuff Tears will require surgical repair, however more research suggests that we can still function normally by strengthening the unaffected Rotator Cuff muscles around the injury – this is where we can help! Whether you are going down the surgical or non-surgical path, you can never go wrong with getting strong! 

Physio Shoulder Treatment 1

How We Deal With Rotator Cuff Injuries

Physio Fit Adelaide proudly offers quality care to the local Modbury, Findon, Flinders Park, Seaton, West Lakes, Beverley, Hope Valley & Para Vista residents.

At Physio Fit, we love treating shoulder injuries such as Rotator Cuff Tendinitis and Tendinopathy. As physiotherapists, we have extensive knowledge of the musculoskeletal system and will reduce your pain using a variety of different techniques including hands on treatment, dry needling and taping. 

Once your shoulder pain is reduced we can get you back to moving well and strengthening the surrounding muscles to take the load off of the joint itself to give you great long term results!

Your shoulders are a vital part of everyday movement and activity, and it is incredibly important to look after them. Shoulders are vulnerable to pain and injury and physiotherapy can act not only as a treatment for the post injury patient, but also as a preventative measure.

What to expect at Physio Fit Adelaide?

Initial assessment with a physiotherapist includes a thorough discussion of the nature of your pain (where, type of symptoms, duration and intensity of symptoms) as well as a bit about you! We can’t help you get better if we don’t know what it is you want to get back to! So we will also discuss your work, physical activity and other life demands to determine what management you need to get back to those things even stronger and more robust than before!

Your therapist will then conduct a thorough physical assessment. This will involve both hands on assessment from the therapist but also practical assessment. This will include things related to your specific history, for example: Throwing, catching, chest pressing and shoulder pressing. We will also make sure we keep track of how things are changing and add or subtract things from your program when necessary to make sure you’re always getting the best care possible! We’ll provide you with a management plan to help you understand your condition and your path forward to become pain free!

Don’t delay your recovery – Take action today!

The occasional niggle or tightness may be nothing to worry about, but failing to pay attention to  sharp or lingering pain may end up causing you a lot of problems in the future. If your shoulder pain is stopping you from doing what you normally love to do, then it is time to get it looked at by one of our experienced physiotherapists. In general, shoulder pain that is affecting your day to day life is a sign that something needs to be looked at.

Often we just assume things will get better by themselves or with enough rest, but this is rarely the case, so take action and get back to doing what you love as soon as possible!


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It is important that we help support the load of our amazing local GP’s during these testing times.


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